In our irony-obsessed era of wry noisemakers, ultra-compressed pop “music,” and so-bad-it’s-good entertainment, it becomes difficult to remember a time when a musician’s sincerity was the only thing that connected us to their music. Such old-fashioned notions are still alive today in the music of bands like Souvenirs. Though their debut EP, Sadder Days, recalls the brazen, amped-up nostalgia of ’90s pop-punk bands like Knapsack and Seaweed, the record is truly a product of four kids fostered by the hardcore communities of Carpinteria and the surrounding area, where they met at shows and experimented early on in separate bands. Despite having known each other for years, it was not until summer of 2011 that Souvenirs was formed in an orange orchard behind drummer Travis Turpin’s house, where there stands a wooden shack just barely big enough for a jam space. This unassuming little shack is actually quite the monument: Title Fight, Cruel Hand, Minus, and other bands hallowed by the area hardcore scene often use it to jam when traveling through town. When I found myself at an impromptu Souvenirs show last August, crammed into the corner with about 40 other people, I did not know this, but I could have surmised it from the raw yet sentimental energy of their performance. It is, perhaps, an anachronism in this day and age to hear a pop-punk band — all drums, bass, and guitar — pull out a cover of Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy,” but one thing is for sure: There will never be any question as to the sincerity of someone’s music when you find yourself singing along, which Souvenirs will inexorably make you do. If you’ve ever longed for a sound that no longer exists, or perhaps never existed in the first place, head on over to their Bandcamp page to listen to Sadder Days in its entirety, or purchase a physical copy. Visit souvenirs1.bandcamp.com.
The Newbies: Souvenirs
Carpinteria Pop Rockers Get Sincere on Get Sadder